Sunday , Sep , 02 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Analyzing Kobe Bryant & Team USA’s FIBA Americas Gold Medal Win

The United States certainly balled like they had to atone for past sins. The coaching staff and players couldn’t forget how the last two World Championships and 2004 Olympics ended. With the gold medal secure, it’s time to step back and reflect on what we learned about the 2007 version of Team USA …

The dictionary defines redemption as the act of redeeming or making up for past sins. Team USA defines it as dominating every country participating in the 2007 FIBA Americas Tournament.

The United States certainly balled like they had to atone for past sins. The coaching staff and players couldn’t forget how the last two World Championships and 2004 Olympics ended. With the gold medal secure, it’s time to step back and reflect on what we learned about the 2007 version of Team USA.

  • Team USA is ready to re-claim its perch on top of the basketball world. They weren’t satisfied beating opponents. They wanted to send a message that the flawed all-star team era is over.
  • Team  USA showed they could play the international game. They played together. They moved the ball. They punished opposing zones with their outside range. And they stopped worrying about positions and played their top talent.
  • Team USA won by playing stingy defense. The perimeter defense was excellent and the bigs controlled the paint. 
  • is the world’s best player. It was refreshing, and amazing, to see him dominate without shooting the ball.  He accepted and thrived as the team’s lockdown specialist. Best of all-his passion for basketball was back.
  • looked fantastic. His versatility suits the international game. Look for ‘Melo to continue his fine play with Denver next season.
  • has put in work and improved his accuracy from the outside. Opposing defenses won’t be able to sag off the King this season.
  • The coaching staff did an excellent job defining roles and using their bench.  The reserves were focused and contributed once they entered the game.

Other Notes:

  • Time to step out of my analyst role for one second. Many of you know I’m Canadian. I was proud of Team Canada’s effort. They qualified for next summer’s backdoor tournament even though Steve Nash and Jamaal Magloire were missing. Well done boys! Keep it going and get to Beijing.
  • The Brazilian squad turned into a soap opera. The players turned on the coach. And it got ugly. The Brazilians will have to stabilize their program for next summer’s backdoor tournament.
  • Luis Scola is a stud. The Argentine forward had an impressive tournament and will make an impact with next season. Under normal circumstances, would regret trading his rights …
  • but they have Tiago Splitter. The talented Brazilian post will play in Europe for one more year before joining the Spurs.

Agree or disagree with Oly Sandor’s FIBA notes. Get at us with your thoughts in the comment box below.

Click here to read and subscribe to Oly Sandor’s NBA Blog.